Explained: Who all can fly special international flights, when will normal travel resume?

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 24, 2020 4:45:03 pm American Airlines planes are parked at Pittsburgh International Airport in Imperial, Pa. (AP Photo) As flights from India to the US, France and Germany under the temporary reciprocal arrangement begin, passengers, including Indian citizens, have been scrambling to get a seat on these outbound flights. Even as airlines – both Indian and foreign – have been accorded the permissions to fly passengers of any citizenship on either of the flight legs, passengers will be subjected to the restrictions imposed by the respective government of the destination country. Who all can fly on these special flights? As per the Ministry of Civil Aviation, flights to the US can carry Indian nationals who are permitted to travel abroad as per the home ministry guidelines and those who hold valid US visas, in addition to US citizens, legal permanent residents, and foreign nationals holding valid US visas. Similarly, for France and Germany, stranded European Union (EU) nationals/residents, foreign nationals destined for EU and transiting through France or Germany can travel. In addition to this, Indian nationals who are permitted to travel abroad as per home ministry norms, and are destined for EU can also travel on these flights. Is there a catch? The civil aviation ministry in its framework for “transport bubbles” has explicitly mentioned: “Before making reservations, the passengers must confirm that they would be allowed entry into the destination country”. Here, passengers might face certain roadblocks in their travel plans with jurisdictions like the EU not having allowed inbound travel from India based on its perception of how India has dealt with the Covid-19 situation. The European Council has adopted a recommendation on gradual lifting of temporary restrictions of non-essential travel into the European Union. This recommendation included 15 countries from where travel was allowed July 1 onwards. The list was reviewed and revised on July 16 to 13 countries. However, India did not feature in either of the lists. When are normal international flights expected to resume? Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has repeatedly said that the resumption will be gradual in nature and will proceed in accordance with how the virus behaves. Shutting down international travel was one of the first lines of defence at the disposal of countries to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19 within their borders and countries will continue to restrict international flights as long as the threat perception remains. New Zealand, which had fully gotten rid of the virus, started witnessing a recurrence once international flights were allowed forcing the country to close its borders again.

Explained: Who all can fly special international flights, when will normal travel resume?
Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 24, 2020 4:45:03 pm American Airlines planes are parked at Pittsburgh International Airport in Imperial, Pa. (AP Photo) As flights from India to the US, France and Germany under the temporary reciprocal arrangement begin, passengers, including Indian citizens, have been scrambling to get a seat on these outbound flights. Even as airlines – both Indian and foreign – have been accorded the permissions to fly passengers of any citizenship on either of the flight legs, passengers will be subjected to the restrictions imposed by the respective government of the destination country. Who all can fly on these special flights? As per the Ministry of Civil Aviation, flights to the US can carry Indian nationals who are permitted to travel abroad as per the home ministry guidelines and those who hold valid US visas, in addition to US citizens, legal permanent residents, and foreign nationals holding valid US visas. Similarly, for France and Germany, stranded European Union (EU) nationals/residents, foreign nationals destined for EU and transiting through France or Germany can travel. In addition to this, Indian nationals who are permitted to travel abroad as per home ministry norms, and are destined for EU can also travel on these flights. Is there a catch? The civil aviation ministry in its framework for “transport bubbles” has explicitly mentioned: “Before making reservations, the passengers must confirm that they would be allowed entry into the destination country”. Here, passengers might face certain roadblocks in their travel plans with jurisdictions like the EU not having allowed inbound travel from India based on its perception of how India has dealt with the Covid-19 situation. The European Council has adopted a recommendation on gradual lifting of temporary restrictions of non-essential travel into the European Union. This recommendation included 15 countries from where travel was allowed July 1 onwards. The list was reviewed and revised on July 16 to 13 countries. However, India did not feature in either of the lists. When are normal international flights expected to resume? Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has repeatedly said that the resumption will be gradual in nature and will proceed in accordance with how the virus behaves. Shutting down international travel was one of the first lines of defence at the disposal of countries to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19 within their borders and countries will continue to restrict international flights as long as the threat perception remains. New Zealand, which had fully gotten rid of the virus, started witnessing a recurrence once international flights were allowed forcing the country to close its borders again.